Hired for the holidays: Seasonal jobs are here
The early appearance of holiday shopping commercials on TV may cause you to grit your teeth like Ebenezer Scrooge. Before you say, "Bah, humbug," know that this can be good news for your job search. According to a new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,400 employers nationwide, 35 percent of retailers plan to hire for the holidays, up from 29 percent in 2011. Employers are also planning to pay more: 62 percent of employers plan to pay holiday staff $10 or more an hour in 2012, up from 53 percent last year. Twenty-two percent will pay $16 or more, up from 14 percent last year.
We've made a list (and checked it twice) of cities with the biggest hiring plans, industry areas that will need additional support during the holidays and tips for how to turn that seasonal gig into a full-time position. Don't wait too long, because these seasonal positions fill up quickly. Thirty-six percent of employers who are hiring seasonal workers say that they hire the most in October, 30 percent in November and 11 percent in December.
Big cities, big hiring plans
Check out these five cities with the largest economies and plans to hire:
1. Los Angeles -- 22 percent of employers plan to hire seasonal help; 40 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions.
2. New York -- 16 percent of employers plan to hire seasonal help; 35 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions.
3. Atlanta -- 15 percent of employers plan to hire seasonal help; 31 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions.
4. Philadelphia -- 14 percent of employers plan to hire seasonal help; 36 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions.
5. Chicago -- 13 percent of employers plan to hire seasonal help; 31 percent plan to transition them to full-time positions.
The areas that need a helping hand
After a stretch of lean holiday seasons, the economy is bringing seasonal cheer to hiring plans this year. "An increase in consumer confidence is helping to fuel the best seasonal hiring the U.S. has seen in recent years," says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. "While the bulk of seasonal recruitment falls within the retail space, companies across industries are hiring for a wide range of positions to support their business operations as they wrap up the year."
Offices and stores alike will need extra help this holiday season in these areas:
- Customer service -- 23 percent
- Administrative/clerical support -- 15 percent
- Hospitality -- 15 percent
- Shipping/delivery -- 14 percent
- Accounting/finance -- 9 percent
- Inventory management -- 8 percent
- Technology -- 8 percent
- Sales (other than retail) -- 7 percent
Turning a seasonal job into a full-time, permanent position
A seasonal job can offer more than just temporary employment -- it can also be a potential offer for a full-time, permanent position. Thirty-nine percent of employers who are hiring seasonal help say they plan to transition some employees into full-time, permanent staff, up from 30 percent in 2011.
How can you impress your seasonal employer? To stand out as a prospective permanent employee, hiring managers recommend these tips:
- Provide "above-and-beyond" customer service. Offer help instead of waiting to be asked for it -- 53 percent
- Ask for more projects -- 46 percent
- Let the employer know upfront that you're interested in permanent employment -- 46 percent
- Present ideas on how to do something better or try something new -- 34 percent
- Ask thoughtful questions about the organization -- 32 percent
If you want to avoid getting a lump of coal for the holidays instead of a permanent job offer, avoid these employer turnoffs:
- Lack of enthusiasm -- 55 percent
- Unwillingness to work certain hours -- 48 percent
- Lack of knowledge about the company or products -- 31 percent
- A greater interest in the employee discount than in anything else -- 21 percent
Seasonal positions are a great way to get your foot in the door at a company and get more experience on your résumé. With the right attitude and hard work, you could be starting the new year with a new job.
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